This is the second installment of “Explaining things to an alien”, where I share transcripts of my conversations with Tztcl: an extraterrestrial I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and subsequently betraying.
Tztcl: *Enters my home* How are you, human. *Does the Vulcan Salute as I taught him, which is frankly freaking hilarious*
Me: *Snickers* I’m doing awesome man.
Tztcl: *Flicks his antennas* Hmmm. I believe my senses have just spotted a deception here. You say you are good, yet your biochemical parameters indicate that you are currently suffering from chronic stress and exhaustion.
Me: *Sighs* It’s technically not a lie, testicle.
Tztcl: My name is Tztcl.
Me: That’s what I said, testicle. Anyways, I wasn’t lying. Here on Earth, just because someone asks about you doesn’t mean they actually give a crap about you. Social convention mandates you to tell people you are fine regardless of how you’re actually feeling. Any other answer would be a severe breach of protocol.
Tztcl: But what if my inquiry regarding your well-being is geniune?
Me: Then you have to be more persistent, and insist I tell you the truth while I pretend I don’t want to talk about myself, even though I wholeheartedly believe that I’m the only subject in this world worth discussing.
(Half an hour of Tztcl’s insistence later)
Me: Fine! Fine! I’ll tell you. Geez. It’s work, man. Work’s got me tired. These full-time shifts are becoming a real strain on my lemonsack, if you know what I’m saying.
Tztcl: But how can you work at a place that is causing your health to deteriorate? According to my current knowledge, the human body cannot maintain such level of strain for a prolonged period of time.
Me: You’re right, testicle, but luckily summer vacation is just around the corner.
Tztcl: *Wriggles tentacles*
Me: You seem confused, testicle.
Tztcl: I understand the word summer, which is a temperate season of the year. But what is this vacation you speak of?
Me: *sighs* Vacation is a break you take from your everyday life so you can recover physically by sleeping, and emotionally with a bottle of wine and half of your mom’s Vicodin prescription. It’s like recharging your battery so you can keep on going a little while longer.
Tztcl: I see. But if what you say is correct, does that not mean that vacations are only required because you live an unbalanced and unsustainable lifestyle that requires you to take frequent escapes?
Me: Maybe, but it’s more complicated than that, testicle. Vacation—
Tztcl: It seems like this vacation you speak of is a temporary remedy. It is a bandage you wrap around your gaping wound so you can still utilize the limb for a little while longer, though it does little to stop the flesh from corrupting and consuming you from within. Maybe, if you faced the parts of your life that makes you unhappy instead, you can live a life you need no escape from. You could finally find the peace within that you’ve been clearly lacking for so long. And in the process, maybe you could finally stop hating yourself.
Me: *Turns away from Tztcl* I’d like you to leave now, testicle.
Me: You’ve pissed me off, testicle, and now I need a vacation from you.